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New Research Reveals 1 out of 3 Retirees Would Live Elsewhere
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New Research Reveals 1 out of 3 Retirees Would Live Elsewhere

January 2, 2019

A surprisingly high percentage of retirees say they’d pick a different spot in which to spend their later years.  In a survey of people in their 70’s, researchers at Age Friendly Ventures (the parent organization of Age Friendly Advisor, Mature Caregivers and RetirementJobs.com), found 31% say “no” when asked “if you had to do it all over again, based on what you know now, would you choose where you are currently residing again?”.

Friends did not make the top of the list of factors that influenced a decision of where to retire; the top 3 were family (65 percent), general livability (36 percent) and desired weather conditions (32 percent).  

These sentiments are summed up by Louisville, KY resident David Heath, who was tempted to relocate internationally but chose family over fair weather and finances. “I would prefer to be in Costa Rica. The weather is warm year-round and you can be at a beach within an hour’s drive from anywhere in the country. The cost of living is low and a person can live well on $2,000 a month. In my current location, Louisville, KY, I need my retirement and a job to meet my monetary needs.   The reason I stayed in the Louisville area is because my children and grandchildren are here. My family is the most important reason for retiring here.”

The financial picture plays a big role for the many who reconsidered their retirement destination, suggesting that consulting with a financial advisor should be a higher priority for older people when they're on the front end of the retirement destination decision process.  A California survey respondent says he and his spouse moved to San Diego for their retirement given the beaches, mountains, weather, people, and general lifestyle.  But now, he says “we are being so heavily taxed we can no longer reside here. We will be moving to a state that is senior tax friendly…Property taxes in Nevada and Arizona are less than 50% of California's for a larger home. Should have left 15 years ago.” Experts from financial services giant MassMutual agree and suggest that pre-retirees talk through the financial what-ifs with a financial advisor before they make their move to help either avoid or prepare for cost of living and other surprises down the line.

Two out of 3 retirees did not do in-depth research to determine where to live in retirement.  Three out of 4 indicated that they would find a tool like Age Friendly Advisor helpful in order to know in advance more about what a place is really like, from the perspective of people who are already there.  They say they welcome an online community that helps Americans over 50 tap others in “the crowd” for advice about good places to live, work and get care.  Age Friendly Advisor executive Daniel McCullough says "we're hoping to put more of a human face on the research about where to live in your later years.  What's it really like to live there?  We're also giving people a place to inform community leaders about what they like and don't like about a particular place.  If we do our job right, this will lead to improvements and enhanced quality of life".

Age Friendly Ventures surveyed more than 700 people age 70+ online in December, 2018. 

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Comments (12)
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My retirement decisions would have been different if I had relocated earlier in my career. I passed on opportunities to the east coast and chose to remain in the Midwest mainly because of family. But I think my family would have relocated with me. Perhaps I could have had an easier and longer retirement path with a larger number of job possibilities in my field. I stayed in the Midwest and experienced 2 downsizings in a narrow career path. My retirement savings was used for living expenses and other choices were made causing me to launch my own research business. While something I wanted for a long time but only after a retirement I had planned for.

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I hate the weather in the winter. Walking on "ice" not so good for old people; neither is driving. Don't like the fact that short of casino gambling and shows, not much else to do for the elderly crowd. Don't like the fact so many Californians are moving here and causing property prices to skyrocket. Don't like the low wages paid to workers in Reno. Don't like the poverty I see in Reno. Don't like the poor education afforded children in Reno. Don't like the politics in Reno. (Very liberal; I'm very conservative). Not very many good places to eat other in the casinos. The casinos can't deal with the competition. No, if I had it to do again, I wouldn't be retired in Reno. Wish I'd gone to Florida!

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When I retired, we chose to stay in our home rather than relocate. Doe to local market conditions, the home has declined in value and when coupled with realtor fees, we are taking a $40,000 loss to sell.

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I was born and raised in Los Angeles. All my friends and associates live in LA. I would move back to LA or down south where the cost of living is not so high.

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Long Island NY has become or also has been young family oriented only. The communities have no tolerance for Senior Citizens which is apparent in the housing they offer. There is retirement development in Nassau. The houses are next door to a public pool, which gets very loud in the summer & offers no backyard at all for seniors who may want to plant a garden or even sit outside (which they couldn¹t because of the kids in the pool).

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